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AAP’s Punjab Campaign Is All About Arvind Kejriwal, And A Bespoke Delhi

AAP’s Punjab Campaign Is All About Arvind Kejriwal, And A Bespoke Delhi

In Bhoa constituency in Pathankot, AAP’s poster boy and chief campaigner in Punjab is not holding any major rallies. His cavalcade of 40 plus vehicles stops at major junctions where the Delhi Chief Minister holds small public rallies.  “Jhadu wala button dabaiyo Punjabiyon (press the button with the broom),” repeats loudspeakers mounted on the cars as Mr Kejriwal travels through the rural belts of Punjab. His ‘jan sabhas’ in Punjab are a replica of the ‘mohalla sabhas’ or public meetings in Delhi. In conversations with his potential voters, Mr Kejriwal talks of a Punjab model of development with eradicating drugs as a major poll promise. In the next promise, he talks of replicating the success in Delhi. “We will waive off your loans… Provide Rs. 2,500 pension just like we did in Delhi. In 6 months, we will drive out drugs from this state. Your kids will then need doctors, we will provide facilities just like Mohalla Clinics we have started in Delhi,” Mr Kejriwal said at a public gathering. Mr Kejriwal strictly keeps his focus on the rural voters. He talks of addressing the farmers’ issues and then of electricity and safety on these border areas which affects them directly. While the older voters seem hard to be persuaded, the younger ones seems more receiving of AAP’s  campagin, “Apna vote to Kejriwal ko (Our vote is to Kejriwal),” says 19-year-old Kuljeet. “Log ab parivartan chahatay hain (people want change),” says his friend. Time-bound poll promises, clean governance, and new but strategically picked candidates based on popular religious beliefs is AAPs plan of action for Punjab. But like Delhi, most of the campaign surrounds Arvind Kejriwal. “Whoever becomes the Chief Minister, it will be my responsibility to fulfill all promises, you trust me and vote for me… I will ensure your kids get out of drugs and get employment,” says Mr Kejriwal. His opponents called him an ‘outsider’ a tag which the Delhi Chief Minister has turned in his favour. He is the change they need, Mr Kejriwal tells the people of Punjab who will vote on February 4 to elect their next government.

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